Bashan Division - Golan Heights
Milestone - Bar Mitzvah
The Golan Heights is arguably one of the most beautiful areas of Israel. With rolling green hills, a view of the snow-capped Hermon Mountain, wildlife and nature hikes galore, there are few that wouldn’t appreciate the serenity and glory of the region.
The Golan Heights also has rich military history for the State of Israel and has many soldiers stationed there protecting her land and patrolling her borders.
Standing barley a mile from the Syrian border, was the perfect opportunity for the Beigel Family of Ontario, Canada. They chose to celebrate their son Adam’s Bar Mitzvah by donating a Sefer Torah to the IDF in partnership with the International Young Israel Movement (IYIM) Warrior Torah Program.
Unlike other armies, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) does not operate on physical strength alone, but in the firm knowledge that its spiritual power and resources are just as important as the physical ones. Believing this firmly, the Beigels sought to donate a Sefer Torah to strengthen the young men and women of the IDF, and indeed specifically wanted to donate a Torah to a base which was in the “thick of the action,” and thus decided on the Golan Heights.
On February 17, 2016, The Beigel family and their guests departed Jerusalem for the long ride up North. The excitement building, the group was met by the Commanding Rav of the area and the Beigel family was personally invited to see “their” Torah for the first time. The family was honored with placing the mantle on the Torah, at which point Adam emerged carrying this special Warrior Torah out to the soldiers and his guests, and the celebration began in earnest.
The joyous procession was led through the base accompanied by singing and dancing soldiers of the Bashan Division, and into the Base Synagogue where the celebration reached a crescendo. After visitors and soldiers were honored with readings, and words shared by the Beigels deeply thanking the soldiers for their commitment to Am Yisrael, the Torah was placed in its new home.The group then went on an unprecedented tour of bases and fortifications within the Golan Heights, some just a mile from the Syrian border. Here participants had the opportunity to speak with front-line soldiers while bringing them gifts and good cheer.
“Our family is strong in both our Torah values and in our support for the soldiers that protect our G-d given land,” commented the mother of the Bar Mitzvah boy Yael Beigel. “IYIM gave us an opportunity to not only perform this enormous mitzvah but they let us do it in a way that we, our family and friends will never forget.”
Shomron Regional Headquarters
Woodmere, New York
Milestone - Bar Mitzvah
Not every Bar Mitzvah boy receives the once in a lifetime opportunity of being called up to the Torah on an IDF base alongside Israel’s soldiers, of dancing with those soldiers along with his family and friends during a unique Torah dedication ceremony on the IDF base.
Daniel Marks and his family had just such a unique opportunity, in partnership with the IYIM Warrior Torah Program.
On January 25th, 2016, and after months of planning in close coordination with IYIM, the ceremony was set to take place at the Headquarters of the Shomron Regional Brigade. The two busloads of guests were guided to the Shomron, where they were met with music and dancing soldiers, the perfect build-up to this most moving event.
The dancing continued until Daniel emerged under a Chupah carrying “his” Torah adorned with the beautiful mantle of a rich blue and silver, emblazoned with the dedication penned by his parents.
A joyous procession led the Torah towards the base synagogue, with rain on their faces but simcha keeping them warm and the celebration alight.
Once in the synagogue, the Torah was arranged on the Bima, where a relative, a soldier, and Daniel himself were called up to make the blessings on the Torah portion. The lifting of the Torah had much meaning for the attendees of this special simcha.
“We are excited to give back to the IDF in a meaningful way and we are grateful that IYIM made that possible,” commented Rachel Marks, mother of the Bar Mitzvah boy. “The dedication was a once in a lifetime experience saturated with meaning, emotion and jubilation. IYIM really listened to our wishes and succeeded in executing a wonderful day which will always remain in our hearts and minds. We hope that the Torah will be a source of guidance and strength to the men and woman of the IDF and all of Klal Yisrael.”